In TAC Talk: Road Crashes
TAC income benefits

If you’re injured in a motor vehicle accident in Victoria, you may be entitled to compensation from a TAC claim. Loss of income while you are incapacitated and unable to work, is one part of your TAC claim.

The Traffic Accident Commission (“TAC”) is required to pay for a range of benefits and compensation to people who are injured in motor vehicle accidents in Victoria.

The amount that the TAC will pay and how long they will pay for will depend on your personal circumstances before and after the accident.

As expert TAC compensation lawyers, we are often asked about claiming for loss of income. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions:

Am I entitled to TAC loss of income?

The TAC must pay loss of income benefits to people injured in road accidents in Victoria if they are an “earner” and lose income as a result of their incapacity for work.

An ’earner” can include:

  • People who were receiving TAC or workers compensation benefits before the accident;
  • People who became unemployed shortly before the accident; or
  • People who had agreed to start a new job but been unable to because of the accident.

Earners also include people who are self-employed, employees, casual workers and apprentices, who have worked in the period leading up the accident.

How long will TAC cover my wages for?

The TAC generally won’t cover you for the first 5 days of lost income after an accident.
Once payments commence, they will pay loss of earnings benefits for up to 18 months after the accident.

From 18 months after the accident, they will then pay for loss of capacity benefits for a further 18 months. Loss of “capacity benefits” recognise the loss of your ability to earn more in the future.
That means that for most people who are unable to work following an accident, the TAC will pay up to 3 years in total for loss of income.

What if I am severely or permanently injured as a result of my motor vehicle accident?

People who have been severely and permanently impaired as a result of a road accident may be able to apply for the TAC to continue to pay for loss of income beyond 3 years. It’s important that you seek expert advice from a lawyer experienced in TAC claims to pursue this.

In addition, if you are unable to work after the three years because you have been hospitalised for further treatment of your injures, the TAC may pay your wages as part of “post hospital support benefits” of up to $5,090 in total.

How much will TAC pay for loss of income?

After the first five days, TAC will pay between 80% to 100% of your pre-accident weekly earnings depending on:

  • Your pre-accident income; and
  • the number of people dependant on you.
    There is a weekly maximum TAC can pay.
  • $1,350 for the first 18 months; and
  • $1,150 between 18 months and 3 years after the accident.

TAC will work out your pre-accident loss of earnings based on the 12 months prior to the accident or 3 years prior if you are self-employed. If your earnings have changed in the lead up to the accident, or you are a student or apprentice you may be able to have your pre-accident earning calculated differently.

What do I need to do to get TAC to pay loss of income?

  • Obtain certificates of incapacity from your doctor and provide them to the TAC. You will have to do this for the duration of time you are seeking wages to be paid.
  • Provide your tax returns and other wage documentation to TAC
  • Notify the TAC if you return to work while they are paying you loss of earnings benefits. If you do not notify the TAC you could face prosecution and damage to your claim.
  • Seek advice from a lawyer experienced in TAC claims to ensure you receive all benefits you are entitled to.

If you’re injured in a motor vehicle, we recommend you at least seek initial advice from a lawyer to ensure you protect your entitlements.

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